Today we took communion as a family and with our church family, doing the same in their homes. As we watched our service online, our pastor led us in this sacred act of remembrance. I had tears in my eyes for a few reasons. One was the sweetness of just being us and the ease of the morning. When everyone meets in the living room wearing pj’s, hair not fixed and no worry of not finding a seat, there is so pressure. The other was because of how often we have done this act, while sitting side by side with other brothers and sisters in our bigger family of believers. It has always been significant, but I never thought to really appreciate gathering together. When that day comes again, I will never stop being grateful for the privilege of meeting with others.
When my husband and I were gathering the juice, representing the blood shed by Jesus, and the bread, symbolic of Jesus’ body given in our place, I had to think about what to serve it in. I looked around our kitchen and an idea came. I got all our medicine cups out and we had just enough. When the juice was poured, I thought this is where our healing truly comes from. I put it all on a heart shaped plate, because this is love. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16).
There is no substitute for what He did on our behalf before we even took our first breath. Who would do such an extravagant act of love? Only the One who knew you were worth it. In light of this sacrificial love, it makes what has been claimed to be love, a cheap imitation. For love “…does not dishonor others and is not self -seeking…” (1 Corinthians 13:5). How can we even begin to serve our precious Jesus who is perfect love? We can begin by accepting His love and obeying His Word.
Taking communion also makes me think of the beautiful hymn by Robert Lowry, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus. We so often fall short in our love and obedience, but there is good news. ”What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” With such an emphasis on being clean these days, I pray every time we hear a reminder or see someone wipe down a shopping cart, we remember the precious blood of Jesus that washes away our sins once and for all.
The hymn reminds us that communion has been freely offered and we cannot earn it. “Nothing can for sin atone; nothing but the blood of Jesus. Naught of good that I have done; nothing but the blood of Jesus.” A gift to be received is offered today and hope is ours for the taking. If you were here, I would extend a heart shape plate, grape juice in a medicine cup and a bit of a cracker. “This is all my hope and peace; nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is all my righteousness; nothing but the blood of Jesus.” This love is so amazing, consuming and available. With all the extra time many of us have on our hands these days, I pray we will live thankful for this pardon made possible by our precious Savior. For truly, there is nothing like the blood of Jesus.
*Hymn written in 1876